Dot Time Recording Artist Bobby Selvaggio Set to Release His First Live Album ‘Live From the Bop Stop’ Out 2/21
Dot Time Records is pleased to announce the February 21st release of Bobby Selvaggio’s ‘Live from the Bop Stop’. Selvaggio’s eleventh release as a bandleader also marks his first album recorded in a live context. As a venue and recording space, the alto saxophonist and composer chose Cleveland, Ohio’s Bop Stop at the Music Settlement. Quite an important space for Selvaggio, the artist has performed at the venue countless times over the past thirty years of his tenure as a leader and mentor to Northeast Ohio’s blossoming jazz scene. Accompanying Selvaggio on this release is pianist Theron Brown, drummer Zaire Darden and bassist Paul Thompson. Special guest Dan Wilson is featured on the tracks “Run Away” and “Hope”. Additionally, a woodwind section is added on the tracks “Times a Changin’” and “Too Soon” including Tommy Lehman on flugelhorn, Liz Carney on clarinet, Summer Cantor on bassoon, and Kent Larmee on horn in F. This ensemble of Selvaggio’s mentees and contemporaries display stunning interplay on the alto saxophonist’s thoughtful original material.
On the topic of live recording, Selvaggio notes “As a musician, and in particular an improvising Jazz musician, there is a different attitude in performing live rather than in a studio. The raw emotion of being in front of a sold-out house and experiencing every note, every moment with a 150 person crowd in an intimate Jazz Club setting really sets the stage for a special environment.” The broad, eclectic mix of music on ‘Live from the Bop Stop’ is a compendium of selections from different points in Bobby’s illustrious career.
The group takes flight with Bobby’s “Times A’Changing”. A contemplative melody gives way to a fiery solo by Selvaggio displaying his impeccable facility on his instrument. Next pianist Theron Brown takes stride into melodic invention over the changes constructed by the bandleader. Bassist Paul Thompson and drummer Zaire Darden play as one unit; a deeply locked foundation of support and groove. Compositions like “Times A’Changing” and the album’s final track “Too Soon” feature the quartet with Woodwind Quintet accompaniment that harken back to the writing style of Gil Evans and Keith Jarrett.
The album progresses with a beautiful waltz “Hope” featuring Dan Wilson on guitar. This track in particular displays the ensemble’s dynamic capabilities; driving energy flows seamlessly into subtlety and nuance and vice versa to create a conversational dynamic inherent to the upper echelons of this artform. The track reminds one of Blue Note era compositions by composers like Joe Henderson and Wayne Shorter. The bright tempoed “Run Away” shows another side of the ensemble – an ebullient, swinging tenaciousness being espoused from each of the players. The melody plays with the motif of the bridge from the standard “Have You Met Miss Jones”, and the harmonic changes are a playground on which soloists engage in all-out exploration.
“Spy Movie” offers the listener a more modern sound, bordering on celestial. The group experiments with pedals and electronic sound bringing a 70’s Miles Davis sound into 2019. Again highlighting the dynamic sensibilities of the ensemble, the piece builds both in density and volume. Drummer Zaire Darden is wonderfully reactive throughout the track, while angular melodies are performed by guitar and saxophone – a true study on color. As Chrisopher Coles states in the liner notes “Bobby has continued to be a relevant force on the national scene and locally he is continuing to help the local musicians find their voices and eventually carry the torch. This music on this record is a perfect way to go into 2020 and continue pushing the music forward.”
More about the artist:
Bobby Selvaggio is one of the leading alto saxophone voices on today’s jazz scene. In the words of pianist Kenny Werner, “Bobby is among the best of players out there,” and legendary saxophonist Joe Lovano praises Bobby by calling him “one of the few young saxophonists on the scene today that captures you with his strong presence, focus, and sound.”
Bobby, who grew up in the Cleveland area, earned his Bachelor of Music in Music Performance from Kent State University. He eventually moved to New York City and earned a master’s degree in jazz performance from the Manhattan School of Music. While in New York, Bobby studied with Joe Lovano, Bobby Watson, Dick Oatts, and Maria Schneider.
After living in New York City and gigging around town at places like the Vanguard, Smalls, and Birdland for four years, Bobby decided to move back to Cleveland with his family. Northeast Ohio has become his home base of operations where Bobby has toured extensively throughout the US and Canada with various working ensembles and musicians. He has dedicated himself to keeping jazz alive in Cleveland and his passion for jazz education has led him to serve as Director of Jazz Studies at Kent State University.
In addition to his work in jazz education, Bobby continues to expand his discography. His most recent recording is Quantum Man (Dot Time Records, 2016) which features a Jazz Quartet, String Quintet, Voice, and Percussion. As said by Downbeat (receiving 4 ½ stars): “Even at its most abstract, the highly textured, refreshingly unpredictable Quantum Man is persuasive and moving”. Quantum Man was also chosen “Best of 2017” by Downbeat. Bobby has also recorded with Aaron Goldberg, Nir Felder, Kenny Werner and Sean Jones, among others on his previous releases Short Stories, Grass Roots Movement, and Modern Times, respectively.
Bobby Selvaggio is an Eastman Saxophone Artist and a Jody Jazz Mouthpiece endorser.